Roger Lancelyn Green

Roger Lancelyn Green
Born (1918-11-02)2 November 1918
Norwich, England
Died 8 October 1987(1987-10-08) (aged 68)
Occupation Novelist, Biographer
Nationality British
Education English
Alma mater Merton College, Oxford
Genre Biography, Fantasy, Mythology
Notable works King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table, Robin Hood, Tales of the Greek Heroes
Spouse June Lancelyn Green
Children Scirard Lancelyn Green, Priscilla Lancelyn Green (Cilla), Richard Lancelyn Green

Roger (Gilbert) Lancelyn Green (2 November 1918 – 8 October 1987) was a British biographer and children's writer. He was an Oxford academic who formed part of the Inklings literary discussion group along with C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.


Roger Lancelyn Green was born in 1918 in Norwich, England.

He studied under C. S. Lewis at Merton College, Oxford, where he obtained a B.Litt. degree.[1] As an undergraduate, he performed in the Oxford University Dramatic Society's Shakespeare dramas produced by Nevill Coghill.[2] He remained close to Lewis until the latter's death in 1963, and holidayed in Greece with Lewis and his wife Joy Gresham just before her death from cancer in 1960.[3] When Lewis started writing the Narnia books in the late 1940s, he suggested that they should be called The Chronicles of Narnia.[4]

Green delivered the 1968 Andrew Lang lecture.

Green lived in Cheshire at Poulton Hall, a manor house that his ancestors had owned for more than 900 years. He died on 8 October 1987 at the age of 68.

His son was the writer Richard Lancelyn Green.



Green became known primarily for his writings for children, particularly his retellings of the myths of Greece (Tales of the Greek Heroes and The Tale of Troy) and Egypt (Tales of Ancient Egypt), as well the Norse mythology (The Saga of Asgard, later renamed Myths of the Norsemen) and the stories of King Arthur (King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table) and Robin Hood (The Adventures of Robin Hood). His works of original fiction include The Luck of Troy, set during the Trojan War, and The Land of the Lord High Tiger, a fantasy that has been compared to the Narnia books.

Chronological order


Green wrote biographies of J. M. Barrie, Andrew Lang and C. S. Lewis. His new edition of selected tales of Hans Christian Andersen contains a short biography. He also wrote a brief biography of Anthony Hope as the introduction to a one-volume Everyman's Library edition of The Prisoner of Zenda and its sequel Rupert of Hentzau. He was editor of the Kipling Journal, 1957–79.

Green was particularly interested in Lewis Carroll, publishing several books and articles. His book The Story of Lewis Carroll (1949) led to an invitation from Carroll's nieces, Violet and Menella Dodgson, to produce an edited version of his diary; this appeared in 1953, and has been at the centre of the recent debate about the alleged 'Carroll Myth'. Karoline Leach devoted much space to considering it in her book In the Shadow of the Dreamchild, claiming that something like 60% of the diary material was left out of this publication, and that Green's allegedly partial, inaccurate and misleading editing had contributed to a continued misrepresentation of Carroll in biographies and the media. At the time of publication, Green claimed to have seen all the diaries and certainly gave the impression he had been allowed unrestricted access, however Leach alleges he later retracted this claim and admitted he had been forced to work with heavily edited transcripts prepared for him by Menella Dodgson, 'for reasons of safety'. He was later a founder and vice-president of the Lewis Carroll Society and helped Morton N. Cohen to edit Carroll's collected letters.

Chronological order

Other Activities and Posts

Green was a part-time professional actor from 1942 to 1945, and a member of the Oxford literary group, the Inklings, along with C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. He was Deputy Librarian of Merton College, Oxford, from 1945 to 1950 and William Nobel Research Fellow in English Literature at the University of Liverpool from 1950 to 1952.[1] He was later a member of the Council of the University of Liverpool, from 1964 to 1971.


  1. 1 2 Levens, R.G.C., ed. (1964). Merton College Register 1900-1964. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. p. 283.
  2. Glyer, Diana (2007). The Company They Keep. Kent, OH: Kent State UP. ISBN 978-0-87338-890-0.
  3. "C. S. Lewis Foundation - The Life of C.S. Lewis". Retrieved 2012-05-04.
  4. "The Chronicles of Narnia | Myword". Retrieved 2012-05-04.
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